Newcastle United were linked with all manner of midfielders over the course of the summer transfer window.
While it was eventually Sandro Tonali Newcastle turned to, plenty of other stars were touted as potential targets.
It’s not that Tonali himself is the issue, just that a traditional No.6 could surely have freed Guimaraes up, with those behind the scenes at the club accepting even last season that the deeper role was not the Brazilian’s best position. Still, there is where he remains.
Which brings us to Kalvin Phillips.
MORE NEWCASTLE STORIES
Pep Guardiola says Kalvin Phillips rejected a loan move away from Manchester City in the summer
Now, Guardiola has shared that the 27-year-old actually rejected the chance to leave the treble winners on loan during the summer transfer window.
Speaking before his City team beat West Ham on Saturday, Guardiola said (via the Daily Mail): “We talked with him and the club with the chance to maybe go on loan because he did not have a lot of minutes.
“But he decided “no, I want to stay”. He is more than welcome.
“As a good guy who accepts everything and stays, they are welcome. When we finish the transfer window, every player here is part of the family and are going to help.”
Perhaps January could offer a solution
Whether or not City would willingly strengthen Newcastle remains to be seen of course but perhaps the January transfer window can offer something of a solution.
With the champions having signed Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes to provide further competition to their midfield ranks, it’s hard to see a way Phillips gets into the team.
With Newcastle reportedly still considering a move for a No.6, Phillips would be a logical target. Experienced in the Premier League and in his prime years, he’d hardly be a left-field addition.
One to watch…